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PostPosted: 28 May 2008 11:02 
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[url=http://old.thejakartapost.com/detaileditorial.asp?fileid=20080528.E03&irec=2]
Australia needs to stop focusing on China and look to all of Asia
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Quote:
S.P. Seth, Sydney

If Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was banking on his specialist understanding of China as a Mandarin speaker to forge a new relationship with Beijing, it has obviously not worked so far.

His government initially sought to ingratiate with Beijing by snubbing Japan and India. Tokyo was not amused when it was left out of Rudd's recent major foreign trip to the United States, Europe and China.

The Rudd government also dumped the quadrilateral security dialogue to include the United States, Japan, India and Australia. Even worse, this was done at a joint press conference with the visiting Chinese foreign minister.

As Beijing was dead set against this viewing it as part of a containment policy, this decision seemed to give China a role in the formulation of Australia's foreign policy, at least when it concerned China. And not surprisingly, it wasn't regarded well by other dialogue partners.

India was also left out of the loop on the question of uranium supplies. The Howard government was favorably disposed on this issue as part of an emerging U.S.-India strategic nexus.

Beijing couldn't have asked for more from the new Australian government, confirming the widely held view that Kevin Rudd was biased towards China.

Apparently, Rudd believed that having proved his China credentials early on, he would now have some friendly license to express his honest views on China's human rights problem during the Tibetan unrest. And he did it quite frankly during his China visit, advising Beijing to hold dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives on the question.

This was all happening in the midst of the Olympic torch relay when protests were staged in London, Paris and elsewhere against China's repression in Tibet. The protesters were also targeting the Chinese paramilitary security presence surrounding the torch.

At the time Prime Minister Rudd declared that the security of the Olympic torch relay would be handled only by the Australian police during its passing through Canberra. This apparently added to Beijing's displeasure, and it showed this by seeking to ignore Rudd's directive, thus creating a murky situation.

In other words, Prime Minister Rudd's special relationship with China looked like unraveling even before it got going.

At another level, Beijing was hoping it might get a sympathetic treatment from the new Rudd government on the pricing of resource materials (like iron ore) China is importing from Australia. In the last few years, prices of resource materials have soared because of growing demand, much of it from China.

One way of putting some control over the price is for China to have an equity stake in Australian corporations engaged in mining and exporting these materials. Beijing is now aggressively pushing to acquire such stake and control. But it is meeting some resistance, which it regards as discriminatory.

Writing in The Australian, Jennifer Hewett, its national affairs correspondent, has commented that, "The Rudd government is becoming extremely concerned about the prospect of ever-increasing Chinese investment in Australian resources companies."

It can't just be a sheer coincidence that an Australian operated gold mining company in China has, at about the same time, come under severe criticism on Chinese television and other media outlets for acquiring the company for almost nothing and for causing environmental degradation and other vile practices.

John Garnaut, Sydney Morning Herald's Beijing correspondent, reported in his paper on May 12 that, "The 30-minute tirade, which advocated even tougher restrictions on foreign investment in Chinese mines, was broadcast nationally twice last week and the transcript reprinted on more than 500 Chinese internet news and blog sites."

As it happens, there is a convergence of sorts between China's resentment over Prime Minister Rudd's criticism over Tibet, and the economics and politics of Australia's mining, investment and export of resource materials.

As columnist Ian Verrender has put it in the Sydney Morning Herald, "Soon after delivering his message in Mandarin to Beijing (during Rudd's China visit] about human rights concerns [in Tibet), he was confronted with accusations that Australia treated Chinese investment differently than money from other nations."

With its economic success and political power, China is in the midst of a national upsurge. It believes that the timing of the Tibetan unrest, to coincide with the Olympic torch relay, is a conspiracy against its coming of age as a great/super power, with the August Olympics as a spectacular backdrop.

And Australia's joining of the criticism of its human rights in Tibet has dented Rudd's credentials as China's friend.

In its courting of Beijing, the Rudd government sought to substitute China for the whole of Asia. Among the three pillars of Australia's foreign policy under his government (as spelled out in a signed article not long before Rudd became Prime Minister), while the first two would focus on "our alliance with the United States [and], our membership of the United Nations", the third pillar would comprise "a policy of comprehensive engagement with the Asia-Pacific region."

But so far, the engagement with Asia-Pacific would seem to suggest mainly China. Japan and India aside, having been given short shrift, Southeast Asia seems to have escaped notice of the Rudd government.

Critiquing then Prime Minister John Howard's Asia policy in his signed article, Rudd wrote, "In our own region, Australia has increasingly the look and feel of an outsider...(because) Mr Howard has emphasized Australia's differences from, rather than commonalities with, the region."

And Rudd promised that under his Labor Party government, Australia "will revert to a long tradition of engagement with the region..." with a view to "find Australia's security in Asia, not from it..."

With such scant notice taken so far of Southeast Asia, it is not surprising that Indonesia, the largest ASEAN country, has felt left out. Even more so because Indonesia has been routinely featured as Australia's important, if not the most important, neighbor.

The problem, though, is that even when Indonesia is recognized as Australia's important neighbor, Canberra doesn't really know how to give it a concrete shape in bilateral relations, other than the security aspect of it in some form or the other. And since the relationship has always lacked depth, it tends to languish. At the moment, though, it is in slumber.

The Rudd government was expected to energize the entire gamut of Australia's foreign relations with ASEAN countries. But the early signs do not look promising.

With his anticipated close relationship with Beijing, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was hoping to become an interlocutor between China and the West. By virtue of that Australia would also gain a new respect in Asia, being China's buddy.

But it doesn't seem to be working like that. The Rudd government may need to rework its Asia policy by recognizing its different components and dealing with them in their own right rather than expecting them to fit in as part of Canberra's grand plan.

It is early days yet with the Rudd government having been in power for only some months. It might yet surprise us with a more broad-based Asia policy as it gets going.

The writer is a freelance writer based in Sydney and can be reached at SushilPSeth@aol.com


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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2008 10:30 
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/ ... 61,00.html

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the fight began between a Somalian driver and an Indian driver, before mushrooming into a brawl between Indians and drivers from various African nations.


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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2008 21:59 
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X-Posted. No link, sorry. From Hindu

Quote:
Australia: a free-thinking ally of U.S.

P. S. Suryanarayana

India remains in the shadow of cross-currents among Australia, Japan, China, and the U.S. on several issues, including nuclear non-proliferation.

Under charismatic Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Australia has turned into a new-style ‘non-aligned’ or autonomous partner of the United States. Canberra was indeed Washington’s nodding ally until the exit of John Howard as Prime Minister a few months ago.

A relevant question in this new context is whether the global political order is gradually becoming a ‘non-polar system.’ As outlined by U.S. analyst Richard Haas, ‘a non-polar world’ will be dotted by numerous powers and also non-state actors with varying degrees of real influence. These issues have come into prominence, as a result of Mr. Rudd’s vigorous visit to Japan at this time, following his recent proactive tours of China and the U.S.

Unlike Australia under Mr. Rudd, two other long-standing allies of the U.S. — Japan and South Korea, both now led by old-fashioned loyalists of America — are passing through parallel phases of domestic political uncertainty. And, the challenges of long-term political survival, facing Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, can be traced to their separate but similar pro-U.S. stances. Mr. Lee recently came under fire for having ordered the resumption of U.S. beef imports into South Korea. Mr. Fukuda had assumed office to ‘resolve’ the crisis over Japan’s logistical support for Washington in its “war on terror” in the Afghan theatre.

Now, after holding talks with Mr. Fukuda in Tokyo on June 12, Mr. Rudd said the “broad and deep” Australia-Japan relationship “is embedded in the political cultures [of] both countries.” This, in Mr. Rudd’s view, “can endure differences [like those on whaling] as in fact our relationship with the United States endures differences [such as those over its continuing occupation of Iraq].” He also noted that Canberra and Tokyo would expand their maritime surveillance exercises and draw up new “plans in relation to defence logistics” which would be spelt out later.
Trilateral security cooperation

And, on “taking forward” Australia’s existing “trilateral security cooperation” with the U.S. and Japan, he was emphatic about the need for “a practical way” that would not alarm China or any other power. Cited in this regard was the imminent possibility of a military-conducted trilateral exercise to meet natural disasters.

Important in this scenario is that neither Australia nor Japan has now sought to co-opt India. By design or otherwise, India was part of the “core group” which the U.S. organised to rush navy-driven aid to the victims of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. The short-lived “core group” later ‘inspired’ a Japanese proposal, under Mr. Fukuda’s predecessor Shinzo Abe, for a quadrilateral forum of Asia-Pacific democracies, namely the U.S., Japan itself, Australia, and India. Unsurprisingly, China was not amused and made its position clear. At that stage, Australia, under Mr. Howard still, did not warm up to this idea of a four-power forum.

High-placed Japanese and Indian sources have told this correspondent that the U.S. was at first very lukewarm to Mr. Abe’s proposal before reluctantly agreeing to it. Obviously, Washington was not satisfied with the cost-benefit calculations behind a possible strategic expansion of the U.S.-Japan-Australia framework to include India in China’s neighbourhood. And significantly, at this moment, neither Mr. Fukuda, U.S.-loyalist with a ‘realistic’ attitude towards China, nor Mr. Rudd has cared to pick up this idea of a quadrilateral forum from the scrapheap of contemporary history. However, India remains in the shadow of cross-currents among Australia, Japan, China, and the U.S. on several issues, including nuclear non-proliferation.

Asked, in Kyoto on June 9, about the chances of his altering course and agreeing to sell Australian uranium to India sometime in the future, Mr. Rudd made the following telling comment. “I understand full well the arguments put by the Government of India, and I have had presentations on this matter from the Government of the United States about the importance of India’s particular circumstances. We are very mindful of that. However, I would remind you of where our policy stands. .... We believe it’s important to maintain the integrity of the [Nuclear] Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT].”

Pledging to keep the “fragmenting” NPT intact, and without blaming India, a non-signatory, he announced his move to form an international commission on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Australia would be one of the co-chairs, and Japan was later “spontaneous” in discussing the initiative.

Diplomats in the region have noted how Mr. Rudd, widely seen as being not just friendly but really empathetic as well towards China in a big way, has now sought to make common cause with Japan on its traditional priorities. One of them is non-proliferation, especially because Japan still swears by the NPT despite neighbouring North Korea’s nuclear weaponisation, now the subject of China-hosted Six-Party Talks. The other common cause relates to climate change, given Mr. Rudd’s political passion for planet-sustaining environment and given Japan’s leadership role in this domain. As for China’s place in his worldview, Mr. Rudd had said, after his talks with the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing on April 10, that “it is important to embrace this relationship.” At the same time, “we need to deal in a frank and straightforward way with disagreements when they arise,” he noted. He discussed Tibet with the Chinese leaders then; and significantly now, his absence on tour from Australia, during Dalai Lama’s visit there, is seen as a China-friendly gesture.

Expanding 6-Party Talks

On a wider canvas, Mr. Rudd has discussed with Chinese and U.S. leaders “the desirability of the Six-Party Talks being expanded into a broader security dialogue across East Asia.” And, he saw “a supportive attitude emerging” from both Beijing, a prime mover behind the talks, and Washington, a player eager to prolong its “forward military presence” in the region.

Relevant to Australia’s own regional stakes are its Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s comments in an interview to this correspondent in Singapore in early June. Canberra’s “U.S. alliance,” he said, “is one of the first pillars of our defence policy and will continue to be so into the future.” He also indicated that Australia would not like to see its independent ties with India and China through the “prism” of zero-sum calculations.

As a free-thinking ally of the U.S., Mr. Rudd has, therefore, proposed the creation of an Asia Pacific Community over time. He seeks to engage all the major players by making common cause wherever possible and discussing differences whenever necessary.


Most likely Rudd is allowed to appear free and thus finagle a new expanded six power talks to include all Asia with smoke and mirrors! One thing curious is the lack of synchronity between US thoughts and their actions vis a vis India.


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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2008 22:14 
It's smoke and mirrors, Rudd is playing a calibrated game against India. As for his independent stance wrt US. It is not possible for Australia to have any independent stand, they have sold away their independence long ago. Rudd's recent visit to US went of really well with him and Bush striking a great chord. Not a discordant note there.

He is playing the bad cop against India. US is always the good cop .. full of milk and honey for a friendly democracy.


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PostPosted: 29 Jun 2008 21:02 
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Put soldiers on Christmas and Cocos islands: study
Quote:
"These Indian Ocean islands - significant to Australia's ability to protect its interests in the Indian Ocean - would be difficult to recover should they be occupied by a foreign power," Mr Copley said.


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PostPosted: 29 Jun 2008 23:00 
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Interesting. Gregory Copley was one of the first Western journalists to take Indian defence capabilities and strategic posture seriously (especially the naval aspect of it). In those years had had quite a bit of access - in the sense that defence bureaucrats actually used to give him the time of day. More than a decade ago, he used to edit a newsletter/magazine called Defence Intelligence or Strategic Forecasting or something like that. That was the first newsletter/magazine in which I read and thought to myself...hmmm... This guy is not totally anti-India. He was no card-carrying BRF type, but he was generally positively inclined. He was also among the first to take the Islamist threat seriously. He used to give a lot of exposure to the writings of Yossef Bodansky (who was a regular contributor, maybe a co-editor of that magazine). Unfortunately, can't remember its exact name.


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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2008 18:00 
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Unlike John Howard who had eyes only for US, Kevin has decided to have an independent foreign policy balancing both US and China. So to show its commitment to an equally close relationship with China as that of US , Australia under Kevin has accepted China's position that there can only be room for one power in Asia. So it seems. Reversing the decision to sell uranium to India but not Russia and the withdrawal from the quadrilateral dialogue which China saw as a move towards containing it, soon after Kevin took office, points to a clear tilt towards China.
Besides Australia always saw itself as the deputy sheriff in the Indian Ocean region and would not want a powerful India encroaching in to their sphere of influence.


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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2008 18:20 
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Interesting interview with a former aussie diplomat in India
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/saturdayextra/stories/2008/2157619.htm


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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2008 18:52 
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A few Brahmos sales to Indonesia should offset any aussie worries regarding foriegn occupation of the islands and who is the top dog. I would suggest getting the Tu-22M3's soon for a friendly visit to the islands.


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2008 10:35 
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Australia was by far the smallest, with just 54,000 troops, 138 combat planes, 12 warships and six submarines (three operational) although it remained the biggest defence spender in the South-East Asian region.

http://www.newkerala.com/one.php?action ... s&id=81116


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2008 11:05 
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Duangkomon wrote:
Interesting interview with a former aussie diplomat in India
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/saturdayextra/stories/2008/2157619.htm


Rory Medcalf seems to be a very level headed fellow. I hope his tribes grow in exponential term.


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2008 21:08 
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US 'planned to test nerve gas on diggers'
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the United States was strongly pushing the Government for tests on Australian soil of two of the most deadly chemical weapons ever developed, VX and GB — better known as Sarin — nerve gas. The plan, which is disclosed for the first time on tomorrow’s SUNDAY program on Nine, called for 200 mainly Australian combat troops to be aerially bombed and sprayed with the chemical weapons — with all but a handful of the soldiers to be kept in the dark about the "full details" of the tests.
Quote:
The request caused consternation in Canberra, with senior Defence bureaucrats clearly opposed to the use of nerve gas, but, as former senior Prime Ministerial policy advisor Peter Bailey recalls: "I heard that many times in Cabinet meetings that if they weren’t pretty good and pretty faithful to the Americans we would be dumped.


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2008 11:37 
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Australia will eventually become a republic: governor-elect
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Sydney | July 07, 2008 2:35:05 PM IST
Australia will eventually become a republic, predicts former Australian high commissioner to India Penny Wensley, who will soon be sworn in as the governor of Queensland state.

"I believe that in due course the Australian people will decide they wish to become a republic, but they haven't made that decision yet," the former diplomat told Australian Associated Press (AAP).

"Until such time as they do so, we have institutions and systems that need to be upheld and respected," said Wensley, who will assume office as Queensland governor in July end.

The 61-year-old ex-diplomat's appointment as 25th governor of the northeastern state has been welcomed by both sides of state politics.

Wensley was posted as the high commissioner to New Delhi in November 2001 and played a vital role in strengthening bilateral ties in the years after India went nuclear.

Born in Toowoomba in Queensland and educated in New South Wales and London, Wensley joined the department of foreign affairs and trade in 1968 after graduating from University of Queensland.

She has just returned after serving as ambassador to France. She was earlier Australia's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Wensley has particular interest in gender issues, HIV/AIDS, environment and sustainable development.


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2008 02:16 
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Call to submerge our naval force
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AUSTRALIA needs a larger and more potent submarine fleet armed with land-strike missiles and should consider a historic shift away from big surface warships.


Australia losing its military advantage: defence expert


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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2008 08:38 
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What do Australians need the submarines for? They should be focusing on increasing wheat and wool production. Just my two cents.


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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2008 19:10 
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Drought hurts vital Australian wheat

# Wheat exports dropped 46 percent from 2005 to 2006 then fell 24 percent last year
# Stocks are low after several years of drought in a row
# Riots over rising bread prices, shortages led to at least 10 deaths in Egypt this year
# Some of Australia's most arable land is also among the hardest hit by the drought


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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2008 21:39 
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Oz Muslim cab drivers refusing to carry blind, disabled passengers
http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20080717/9 ... to-ca.html
Thu, Jul 17 04:35 PM
Quote:
Melbourne : Muslim taxi drivers in Australia are refusing to carry blind and disabled passengers with guide dogs - because their religion tells them the animals are "unclean".

Quote:
Now, the company has produced a booklet informing drivers of their duty towards blind and disabled customers with dogs.


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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2008 21:44 
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> US 'planned to test nerve gas on diggers'

diggers probably means aboriginals.


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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2008 23:50 
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Quote:
The slang term 'digger' re-surfaced during the First World War when Australian and New Zealand soldiers, ANZACs, ascribed it to themselves and their mates as a term of affection, arguably due to the trench-digging aspect of the war.

'Digger' and 'dig' were used by soldiers as friendly terms of address equivalent to 'cobber' and 'mate' ... The term has tended to be defined in high-value laden ways ... 'a man for whom freedom, comradeship, a wide tolerance, and a strong sense of the innate worth of man, count for more than all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory in them.'
A G Butler, The Digger: A Study in Democracy, 1945 in The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, p 213


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2008 05:23 
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Australians to train Indians in tracking down Poachers


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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2008 18:02 
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No comment!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd descended from thieves
The Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is a descendant of underwear and sugar thieves and forgers, researchers have discovered.

By Bonnie Malkin
Last Updated: 1:10PM BST 31 Jul 2008

Mr Rudd's paternal fifth great-grandmother Catherine Lahey arrived in Sydney in 1800 after forging one shilling and sixpence to pay her rent. Photo: EPA
Researchers looking into Mr Rudd's family history discovered that his fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Rudd, was transported to Australia in 1801 to serve a seven-year sentence for "unlawfully acquiring a bag of sugar".

However, his crime is eclipsed by that of the prime minister's paternal fifth great-grandmother Mary Wade, a London street urchin who made a pittance by sweeping streets and begging.

In 1788, aged 12, she and an older girl coaxed an eight-year-old girl into a toilet where they relieved her of "her dress, petticoats, a linen tippet, and a cap and absconded".

Wade was sentenced "to be hanged by the neck til she be dead" after a trial at London's Old Bailey in January 1789 but the sentence was commuted to transportation to the colony of New South Wales.

Another relative of the prime minister was convicted of forging coins. Mr Rudd's paternal fifth great-grandmother Catherine Lahey arrived in Sydney in 1800 after forging one shilling and sixpence to pay her rent.

Mr Rudd was presented with two leather bound volumes of his family history by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - or Mormons - at a private ceremony in Sydney.

Far from being the embarrassment it might have been just a couple of decades ago, the discovery is likely to give Mr Rudd's image a significant boost. Convict ancestry has recently lost its aura of shame and become a badge of honour in modern Australia.

An estimated 22 per cent of the Australian population have a distant relative with a criminal past.

"For Australians, finding a convict ancestor is the Holy Grail, especially a First Fleet ancestor," Heather Garnsey, Society of Australian Genealogists executive officer, said.

"A lot of people have a romantic notion of the convict period. I joke in Australia it's the equivalent of royalty to some extent."

Mr Rudd is not the first Australian politician to boast a convict past. Former prime minister John Howard, who was unseated by Mr Rudd last year, has convict forebears on his mothers' and fathers' sides, including a maternal second great-grandfather who was convicted of complicity in the theft of a tortoiseshell watch.

Church elder Terry Vinson said the research proved Mr Rudd had a "true Aussie pedigree", including free settlers and convicts.

"We regard today's presentation as our gift to the nation," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2008 00:28 
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Shashi Tharoor shares an Indian perspective on climate change.(India specific discussion on oz tv in a long while)
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2316742.htm
Video is available.
abc is the only respectable news service on tv in Australia and lateline carries the serious discussions on various issues with a host that takes everyone to task. To me the host always comes across as a how-dare-you-thirdworlders type but was politely put in his place and left unsure towards the end, although Tharoor could lose some of his condescending crap.


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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2008 10:15 
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Indian cabbie attacked in Oz
Melbourne : A 23-year-old Indian taxi driver was verbally abused and attacked by a passenger in Melbourne, latest in a series of targeting cabbies from South Asian countries.

Lakhvir Singh who picked up a passenger late at night was attacked by the commuter when he got out of the cab to close the door left open by the man.

Singh was repeatedly kicked and punched by the passenger after he asked for the fare.

Superintendent Chris Ferguson, Victoria police's liaison officer for the taxi industry, denied any racial motivation behind the incident. However, Singh claimed his attacker had racially taunted him, calling him “his little slave.”

Taxi drivers were sometimes viewed as soft targets but police had a good record in catching the attackers. Ferguson said that such attacks were detrimental to the taxi industry as a lot of good drivers were leaving because of the dangers.

Earlier this month, two Indian drivers were attacked and robbed at knife-point. More than 10 cabbies have been robbed in Melbourne since June 2008. Jalvinder Singh, a cab driver had suffered serious injuries three months ago following which the taxi drivers had blocked the roads in protest.


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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2008 10:17 
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Duangkomon wrote:
abc is the only respectable news service on tv in Australia and lateline carries the serious discussions on various issues with a host that takes everyone to task.

is abc owned by rupert murdoch or the aussie govt?


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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2008 06:34 
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"How can we justify selling the uranium to China and to Russia in an unfettered way ... and yet we don't sell uranium to India?" Mr Robb told Channel Ten.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/s ... public_rss

(It is called racism my friend.)


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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2008 04:59 
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Asian neighbours 'could go nuclear'


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PostPosted: 23 Aug 2008 13:55 
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Stolen Indian children adopted in Australia
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Fri Aug 22, 11:19 PM ET
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian government is investigating a media report that 13 Indian children may have been stolen from their parents as part of a child-trafficking network and brought to Australia for adoption.

Time magazine reported on Saturday that an Indian-based adoption agency renamed children and fabricated their histories, complete with photographs of fake mothers offering them for adoption.

It said it had seen adoption agency documents for 13 such children.

An Indian-based human rights lawyer told Time that an estimated 30 of the nearly 400 children brought to Australia in the last 10 to 15 years were trafficked.

Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland said he was aware child trafficking may have been involved in two adoption cases. His department was investigating the Time magazine report.

"At some stage there was child trafficking involved prior to them coming into contact with the agency involved in India," McClelland told reporters on Saturday.

McClelland said he knew where one of the children was now living, but refused to disclose the location. He said Australia was no longer working with the Indian-based adoption agency in the Time report.

Time magazine detailed one adoption case involving a nine-year-old girl from Chennai, who it said was stolen while her mother went to a market, and adopted in 2000 to a family in Australia's tropical Queensland state.

The Queensland state government said some adopted children in the state may have been the victims of the alleged child trafficking, reported local media.

Queensland Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech said Adoption Services Queensland became aware of the allegations in 2007, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Saturday.

Keech told Time that Adoption Services Queensland "will work very closely with federal and state agencies to investigate these claims".


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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2008 11:32 
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http://www.visabureau.com/australia/new ... rules.aspx

Indian students pride themselves on abiding by Aus immigration rules
Indian students make up the second largest group of international students in Australia, and can also boast a high rate of compliance for visa conditions, reports the Times of India.

"The number speaks for itself. Indian students have a high visa compliance rate and they are a very important part of the Australia's $12.5 billion education export industry," a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship told reporters.

Of the 47,639 Australian student visas granted to Indians during 2006-07, almost 6,000 were granted permanent residency visas.

According to RTT news, more than 300 foreign students in Australia have been found breaching the conditions of their visa over the past three years and have been penalised by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

The students on an Australian student visa were found breaching Australian immigration laws and were put into detention centres in Sydney and Melbourne before being deported.

The majority of the detainees were from Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, who either overstayed their visas, did not attend their classes, failed their courses, or worked illegally.

According to the Times of India, of the 63,500 Indian students studying in Australian universities and educational institutions, only 16 have breached their visa conditions over the past three years.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2008 10:50 
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No uranium to India till it signs NPT: Australia

Quote:
MELBOURNE: Australian government will not sell uranium to India despite welcoming Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) decision to end the 34-year long embargo on nuclear trade with India, official said.

"However, Labor is committed to supplying uranium to only those countries party to the NPT. Australia will therefore not be supplying uranium to India while it is not a member of the NPT," Australian trade Minister Simon Crean was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper report on Monday.

Labor party welcomed the decision by NSG as strengthening the global security of nuclear facilities, Crean said.

However, the federal Opposition claims Labor's policy was hypocritical and said Foreign Minister should use his next visit to India to announce a new uranium policy.

"Foreign Minister Stephen Smith should use next week's visit to India to announce a new uranium export policy for New Delhi," Opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Robb said on Sunday.

While critics of the Vienna announcement said the decision would undermine the non-proliferation efforts, Robb said Canberra needed to support India in efforts to produce greenhouse gas-free electricity.

"One of the first foreign policy acts of the Rudd government was to renege on a decision by the Howard government to help India supply greenhouse gas-free electricity to its growing population by providing uranium under an agreement being negotiated between the US and India," he said.

"Since that time, the Rudd Government has been humiliated into supporting the US-India agreement at meetings of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the NSG which effectively condoned the sale of uranium to India by other countries around the world," he added.


ToI


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PostPosted: 10 Sep 2008 22:31 
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Quote:
Australian P.M. plans military expansion to counter Asian arms race

With a 3 percent annual increase in military spending, Australia hopes to balance China's arms spending and India's sizeable military.

By Simon Montlake, Christian Science Monitor
posted September 10, 2008 at 10:57 am EDT

Australia says it needs to overhaul its defense systems to counter an arms build up in the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told veterans on Tuesday that tensions between Asian neighbors could pose a challenge to Australian forces that had "been overstretched for a long time," but could continue to play a role as a global "middle power."

Mr. Rudd, who leads a center-left government that took power last year, said Australia should continue to build up its Navy to defend its waters. It is already committed to expanding its Army, which is part of the NATO deployment in Afghanistan, and investing in advanced weaponry and transportation under a 10-year modernization program. The improvements will include stealth fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, assault ships, and missile shields.

Rudd didn't name any Asian countries as potential threats, reports Reuters. But Australian military planners are wary of China's arms spending and India's sizeable military, as well as an increase in Russian-supplied air defenses in nearby Indonesia and Malaysia. In his speech, Rudd said Australia's close security ties with the United States would continue, even as the US economy is likely to decline in relative influence compared with other economies such as China's.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Rudd pointed to unresolved border disputes between China and India, and China's claim of sovereignty over Taiwan as sources of friction in the region. These disputes are future "flash points" that Australia's military, known as the Australian Defence Force, must be prepared to respond to, he said. {So what does lizard got to do with all these???}

"We need to make sure we have an Australian Defence Force that can answer the call if it is needed," he said.

"We need an enhanced naval capability that can protect our sea lanes of communication and support our land forces as they deploy, and we need an Air Force that can fill support and combat roles and can deter, defeat and provide assistance to land and maritime forces.

"The truth is our defence has been overstretched for a long time," he added.

Bloomberg reports that Australia's government has pledged to increase military spending by 3 percent annually until 2018. Its budget for the current year is $14.5 billion. In 2007, Australia had a total of 51,504 military personnel in its Army, Navy, and Air Force. In addition to its deployment of 1,000 personnel in Afghanistan, Australia currently has military peacekeepers in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.


In his speech, Rudd referred to China's territorial claims over disputed waters in the South China Sea, which have unnerved its neighbors. Vietnam has sparred with China over ownership of offshore oil and gas reserves as well as bellicose postings on Chinese websites, the South China Morning Post reported.

The BBC reports that Rudd described arms spending in Asia as an "explosion." He said military planners had to take account of the competition for energy security and the impact of climate change on food and water availability in the region, as well as shifting and expanding populations that would shape the security landscape.

"Militarily... as it has already become economically and politically, the Asia-Pacific will become a much more contested region," Mr Rudd said in the speech.

"The demographic changes in our region will mean that by 2020 when we look to our north, we will see a very different region to the one we see now, one where population, food, water and energy resource pressures will be great," Mr Rudd said.

Australia should, therefore, be preparing for "the new challenges of energy security and anticipating the impact of climate change on long-term food and water security," Mr Rudd said.

On Wednesday, Rudd told reporters on a trip to the northern city of Townsville that Australia had to keep an eye on rising Asian powers like China and India that were growing more influential, :lol: reports Agence France-Presse. A defense white paper on the future needs of the military is expected to be published later this year.

"We are looking at a time in the Asia-Pacific region and world history where, for the first time in several hundred years, we are going to have powers other than Anglo-Saxon powers who will be the dominant players in the world," he said.

"For the government, a major priority is to ensure we have enough naval capabilities in the future, enough naval assets, enough naval performance, and therefore enough funding put aside to invest in that, long-term," he added.

In an opinion piece, Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, praised Rudd for supporting a well-funded military that can undertake operations ranging from disaster relief to high-intensity warfare. He said Rudd had also struck a bold note by predicting the strategic role of the US in Asia would remain dominant until 2050 and possibly beyond, defying predictions that the US is fading in importance.

He correctly sees the US as the dominant strategic player in Asia at least until 2050. Other powers, notably China and India, will rise, and may even rise relative to the US, but Washington will still lead the region militarily by the middle of the century.

No government can be expected to plan beyond 2050, so Rudd is taking his stand four-square against those who argue that the US is in, or will experience, some sort of structural decline.

That is the part of the speech that most boldly runs counter to current orthodoxy, and it has the Rudd intellectual signature.

But Rudd is also right to draw attention to the rapid population and military budget growth of our Asian neighbours. This is an aspect of Australia's strategic environment that is changing rapidly and fundamentally.


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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2008 03:41 
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It might make more sense to most people if the headline were:

Australian P.M. plans military expansion

Or aren't white Christians supposed to be doing this after having killed off 60 milllion in the last white Christian war?


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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2008 03:56 
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Sandy Gordon has written about this in his book India's rise to power.

Rudd is just hedging for it. BTW I think Gordon was one of the review panel that suggested expansion a few months back.

If you look at Caroe's seven power circles that I posted in the Great Gamethread, India and Australia are in same circle. So Aussies hedged the rising India by helping(Soft face) in agriculture and bread bakery etc and supported and nurtured the ISI(hard face) in TSP land.

With the NSG waiver in hand all that is in tatters so almost to the same week of the waiver Aussies are announcing all these expansions. They will collude with PRC more than any other power in next 50 years. Its not geo-political but primacy in the English speaking peoples!


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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2008 04:20 
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Avinash R wrote:


This is something that the Aussies did with the children of aborigines. I would not rule out the role of christian evangelical organizations in these acts (to save the souls of "heathen hindus").


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008 14:35 
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I hope these were not people of Indian Origin. I wouldn't want 7 race course road and 10 Janpath to be sleepless. Heaven Forbid:
Link

Quote:
6 found guilty of terrorism charges in Australia
15 Sep 2008, 1035 hrs IST,AP

MELBOURNE: A jury on Monday convicted a Muslim cleric and five of his followers of forming a terrorist group in Australia that allegedly considered assassinating the prime minister and attacking major sporting events.

Four other men were found innocent of being members of the group and the jury was still deliberating on charges against two more, as verdicts were delivered in Australia's largest terrorist trial.

No attack took place, but prosecutors alleged the group, based in Australia's second-largest city of Melbourne, intended to undertake ‘violent jihad,’ and identified railway stations and sports fields as possible targets.

During the long-running trial, prosecutors alleged the group had talked about launching an attack at a football final that attracts close to 100,000 people each year, or the Formula One Grand Prix race held annually in the southern city.

They also allegedly discussed killing former Prime Minister John Howard, who ordered Australian troops to join the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

All of the suspects had pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyers painted the suspects as disgruntled men whose bravado led to talk about violent attacks but who had no ability to carry out such acts.

The men found guilty are yet to be sentenced. They face life terms in prison. They included Abdul Nacer Benbrika, a 48-year-old Algerian-born cleric who was allegedly the leader of the terrorist cell.

Prosecutors alleged Benbrika urged his followers to launch an attack to force the Australian government to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. He allegedly told them that at an attack needed to kill at least 1,000 people to achieve this aim, and that it was permissible to kill women, children and the elderly.

Benbrika's lawyer Remy Van de Wiel told reporters outside the court he did not know yet if his client would appeal the verdict.

During the trial, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Bernard Bongiorno warned jurors that the testimony of at least one prosecution witness was unsafe because the witness was known to be a liar.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008 14:55 
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The nineties saw massive migration from places like HK in the run up to 97 to Aus and NZ. There is now a sizeable demographic vote bank of chinese immigrants who are nurtured by the political big two of Aus politics.

There was a brief back lash against Asians (East Asians) by the like of Pauline Hanson. John Howard was of the block of old white australia sympathisers and he managed to bring a conservative brand in there that reduced the impact of the like of racist Pauline Hanson and yet became aware of the nature that such a demographic shift can lead.

For chinese immigration populations world wide have always been active in politics and are very clanish in promoting china in their countries. A lot more than immigrant indians. Howard tried to balance it with fresh migrants from Europe.

Rudd on the other hand will try and cultivate this group. The Indian immigrant population is smaller in nos. Actually Australia made a mistake in encouraging migration from HK and other Chinese areas. They would have been better off with Indian migrants. But this is a different story.

What is important is to realise that this migrant chinese population will influence Australian policy increasingly towards appeasing china and integrating with them. That would put them in conflict with us at some time. Hence the naval reach to dominate deep south into the Indian ocean will get more and more important. Southern Naval Command, FORTRAN are likely to be key to protecting Indian interests. Australia is likely to be at best neutral to India with a bias towards China. In no small measure, the immigrant chinese population of Australia will have a role to play in this.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008 17:33 
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Raja Ram wrote:
The nineties saw massive migration from places like HK in the run up to 97 to Aus and NZ. There is now a sizeable demographic vote bank of chinese immigrants who are nurtured by the political big two of Aus politics.

There was a brief back lash against Asians (East Asians) by the like of Pauline Hanson. John Howard was of the block of old white australia sympathisers and he managed to bring a conservative brand in there that reduced the impact of the like of racist Pauline Hanson and yet became aware of the nature that such a demographic shift can lead.

For chinese immigration populations world wide have always been active in politics and are very clanish in promoting china in their countries. A lot more than immigrant indians. Howard tried to balance it with fresh migrants from Europe.

Rudd on the other hand will try and cultivate this group. The Indian immigrant population is smaller in nos. Actually Australia made a mistake in encouraging migration from HK and other Chinese areas. They would have been better off with Indian migrants. But this is a different story.

What is important is to realise that this migrant chinese population will influence Australian policy increasingly towards appeasing china and integrating with them. That would put them in conflict with us at some time. Hence the naval reach to dominate deep south into the Indian ocean will get more and more important. Southern Naval Command, FORTRAN are likely to be key to protecting Indian interests. Australia is likely to be at best neutral to India with a bias towards China. In no small measure, the immigrant chinese population of Australia will have a role to play in this.


From wiki
2006 data
Immigrants into Australia
China = 280k
Malaysia = 105k ( mostly chinese )
Vietnam = 180k ( mostly chinese boat people )

Total chinese = 550K out of 20 mil = 2.5%

Indians = 150k = 1%


---

In NZ, chinese are 150K out of 4 mil or 4%
Indians are 40k or 1%


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008 17:45 
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thanks G S.

So it is about 550k. We also need to factor the relative economic linkages these 550k is building with China and Greater China. The investments and trade that they control is pretty significant. These are bi directional. A lot of Aus companies have been selling their minerals and metals to the Chinese as well as established a booming trade with the chinese diaspora.

I have no idea if the Indian diaspora commands such significant control over money flow. So it appears that Aussies have been pretty smart to balance the immigrant mix well. In twenty thirty years time, the fertility rates amongst Chinese and Indian origin Australians are likely to be more than european descent aussies. Is this a fair assumption to make?

But from the looks of it the chinese disapora is making its presence felt in Australian politics. I remember reading that quite a few candidates in some of the states have been chinese origin. Dont remember the nos. Good to watch this trend.

Earlier we used to have kgoan in ausland to give us the right perspective, dont see him posting here now on the forum.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008 18:35 
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Raja Ram wrote:
thanks G S.

So it is about 550k. We also need to factor the relative economic linkages these 550k is building with China and Greater China. The investments and trade that they control is pretty significant. These are bi directional. A lot of Aus companies have been selling their minerals and metals to the Chinese as well as established a booming trade with the chinese diaspora.

I have no idea if the Indian diaspora commands such significant control over money flow. So it appears that Aussies have been pretty smart to balance the immigrant mix well. In twenty thirty years time, the fertility rates amongst Chinese and Indian origin Australians are likely to be more than european descent aussies. Is this a fair assumption to make?

But from the looks of it the chinese disapora is making its presence felt in Australian politics. I remember reading that quite a few candidates in some of the states have been chinese origin. Dont remember the nos. Good to watch this trend.

Earlier we used to have kgoan in ausland to give us the right perspective, dont see him posting here now on the forum.


IMHO, chinese fertility is somewhat below white Aus fertility
Chinese fertility has been crashing down very fast in Singapore, HK ,etc


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PostPosted: 18 Sep 2008 19:04 
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Oz's future PM? What will his attitude be towards India, Better or worse?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 32792.html

Spycatcher lawyer to lead Australia opposition

By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Malcolm Turnbull, elected leader of Australia's main opposition party

A charismatic former lawyer who took on the Thatcher government over Peter Wright's Spycatcher memoirs, and went on to lead Australia's republican campaign, will challenge Kevin Rudd's Labor government at the next election in 2010.


Malcolm Turnbull was elected leader of the conservative Liberals, the main opposition party, today after his predecessor, Brendan Nelson, was dumped by his parliamentary colleagues. Dr Nelson had been handed the poisoned chalice of leadership after John Howard, the former Liberal Prime Minister, was ousted last November following 11 years in power.

Mr Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former merchant banker who became an MP only in 2004, has never made any secret of his prime ministerial ambitions. During a press conference today, he portrayed himself as a man of the people who had endured financial hardship and understood the concerns of Australians "doing it tough".

In 1986, as an abrasive young barrister, he successfully represented Mr Wright, a former MI5 agent, against the British government's attempt to ban publication of his book in Australia. Mr Turnbull's cross-examination of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, prompted the latter's admission that the government was prepared to be "economical with the truth" in order to protect national security.

In 1999, after a republican referendum was defeated, an emotional Mr Turnbull said Mr Howard would be remembered as "the prime minister who broke this nation's heart". Five years later, he became a Liberal MP, and within two years of winning his seat was a member of Mr Howard's Cabinet.

His elevation to the party leadership came after Dr Nelson, who has put up with months of backbiting and record low personal poll ratings, unexpectedly called a leadership contest. His decision backfired on him, with Mr Turnbull - who narrowly lost to him last year - narrowly winning this time.

With Mr Rudd still riding an unprecedented wave of popularity, political pundits say there is virtually no chance of the Liberals and their coalition partners winning the next election. But Mr Turnbull's promotion could accelerate moves towards an Australian republic, since Mr Rudd - who has promised to reopen the constitutional debate - would be certain of his support. The Prime Minister said yesterday that he looked forward to working with Mr Turnbull "on a bipartisan basis".

In general, though, Labor can expect much tougher opposition. Mr Turnbull, a more impressive orator than Dr Nelson, is widely admired for his energy and intellect. However, his critics - who include many within his own party - regard him as pushy and temperamental.

The wealthiest member of parliament, he represents a seat covering Bondi Beach and some of Sydney's most opulent harbourside suburbs. But, as he reminded Australians yesterday, he was not born into privilege. His mother left the family after his parents split up and he was brought up by his father, who was often short of money. They lived in rented flats.

A Roman Catholic convert, Mr Turnbull is considered a liberal on social issues. He supported Mr Rudd's apology to the Aboriginal "Stolen Generations" - which is believed to have cost him the party leadership last time. He and his wife, Lucy, who was Sydney's first female Lord Mayor, are regarded as a formidable power couple.

Tim Costello, a fellow republican campaigner, recently described him as an "utter force of nature", adding: "When you're on the wrong end of Malcolm, it's terrifying ? the thunder in the face and and often ? over the top tongue lashing."


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PostPosted: 18 Sep 2008 19:44 
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Hello Brfites, im an Indian and ive been living in Australia now for the last 14 years i can help provide some perspective regarding Australia's perception of asia as well as issues such as immigration etc. I have a a dual citizenship now which makes it a lot easier to travel in India as well as invest in India which i have already done.

Australia basically acts in its own interests and from my perspective its doing a pretty good job. One of the primary reasons why Australia's economy is in a good shape is due to the unprecedented mineral exports to such countries such as China, Japan and to a lesser extent India. We got $150B last year and should soon get to $200B. We also recognize that China is going to be a significant global power in the coming decades. Therefore Australia is changing its relationship with China to reflect global power realities. With regards to the military aspect. Australia's military is no threat to any of its neighbours as its too small. The basic function of the military is to act in a defensive posture to protect the mainland and i wouldnt discount its ability to do this.

The collins class submarines as well as the F/A 18 E/F fighter bombers as well as advanced destroyers and advanced radar technoligy give Australia the ability to monitor naval movements from a long distance from the mainland. But due to an unprecedented arms purchases from S/E asia, Australia is going to invest more to improve force lethality and strength.

Australia is not anti-India is any respect. Infact our two countries share much in common. We both were a part of the Empire, were both liberal democracies and we even share some cultural traits such as love of cricket and we both have a large english speaking population. Australia is obvioulsy 100%. I see the relationship between India and Australia in the future to be mainly commercial with a potential strategic persepective. Australia has a huge range of resources which India needs, including black coal, uranium, copper, iron ore, LNG, zinc, nickel etc. I hear more and more often on radio that Indian companies are investing in the Australian resources sector. Therefore trade will be the motivating factor i believe in the relationship between India and Australia.

With regards to immigration the number of Indians living in Australia has shot up recently and last year Indians were the Highest immigration group by numbers except for New Zealand i believe. Australia now has a very sizable Indian expatriate community. This community is actively investing in India and forms a link for the Indian-Australian patnership.


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